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April 1, 2020: Coronavirus Community Call

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To download the call notes, click here.

National and State Update-Ben Moser

Ben gave the following updates for Day 20 of the National Emergency from national, state and local news sources:

  • President Trump braces the country for “a painful two weeks ahead as the death toll surges towards 4,000”
  • United Nations Secretary General calls the Coronavirus pandemic the greatest challenge since World War 2
  • The economy has now entered a recession and recovery is unlikely until 2021
  • Field hospitals sprang up in New York’s Central Park to alleviate overcrowding in the city’s hospitals
  • New Centers of Diseases Control data shows danger of the virus for those with diabetes, heart disease and lung disease; people of any age with underlying health conditions are at increased risk if they contract the virus
  • President Trump forecast at least 100,000 US deaths from the Coronavirus
  • Evidence is emerging that social distancing may have slowed the spread of the virus in California
  • Stocks fall after President Trump issues warning on pandemic
  • In Georgia, Governor Kemp will deploy the National Guard to nursing homes and assisted living facilities to help limit the spread of the disease amongst the vulnerable residents
  • In Alabama, law enforcement officials urge Governor Ivey to reduce the number of inmates in Alabama prisons warning that an outbreak in the correctional facilities could create a public health catastrophe

Columbus Area Updates

Columbus Consolidated Government-Mayor Skip Henderson

Mayor Henderson gave the following updates:

  • Mayor Henderson thanked everyone for what they are during this crisis and added the that citizens of Columbus are the “heroes”
  • As of 7:00pm last night, there are 19 cases in Muscogee County
  • More test kits are available; anticipate numbers going up
  • Critical numbers are those checking into the hospitals because not everyone with the virus will need hospitalization
  • Additional data from testing will help them do some modeling so they can project transition rates on who may end up in the hospital
  • The original Executive Order has been extended through April 30 for the city of Columbus
  • Struggling with enforcement of businesses not complying; don’t want to have to give citations just want people to comply
  • More aggressive follow-up with businesses that are not complying over the next week; officers will visit businesses they have received complaints about
  • Mask are needed for public safety first responders
  • With the help of our local Homeland Security and our local Red Cross, we have the capacity to standup an emergency hospital in less than 8 to 10 hours. This hospital would not be for COVID-19 patients but to relocate patients to make space in the hospital for COVID-19 patients if needed
  • As a government, planning on slowing the spread of the virus and how to respond if there is a huge increase in the number of cases
Department of Public Health (Columbus Health Department) Update-Natalie Mann

Natalie gave the following updates:

  • More test kits came in yesterday: testing begins today at 9:00am
  • There are 19 cases in Muscogee County; total of 103 cases in our health district
  • More results coming back from the lab; check the Georgia Department of Public Health website for continued updates
Muscogee County School District Update-Dr. David Lewis

Dr. Lewis gave the following updates:

Dr. Lewis stated that he had nothing new to report this morning

Alabama State Representative Update Chris Blackshear

Representative Blackshear gave the following updates:

  • Alabama has 999 cases; 75 in Lee County; still 1 in Russell County
  • A total of 7,250 people have been tested
  • There have been 24 deaths reported and 17 confirmed
  • Stressed continuing to practice social distancing
United Way of the Chattahoochee Updates-Jennifer St John

Jennifer gave the following updates:

  • Today is officially Census day. 
  • We know that the Coronavirus is having an impact on the Census. 
  • Households should have received a form to complete – a big change for this year is that the Census can be completed online. 
  • The Census is a big deal – required by law – and determines how many representatives each state gets and how billions of federal dollars will be spent for roads, schools, and other important community needs. 
  • Complete your forms if you have not and share with others the importance of completing this update.  
  • Thanks to our partner agencies we will be distributing Buddy Packs to children in Muscogee County again today and on Friday. It’s been wonderful to be part of this project and see agencies work together to help meet this need.  
  • Very encouraged how agencies who serve our community every day are stepping up in new ways to find shared solutions to any challenges.  

Columbus Area Vulnerable Population Update

Home for Good Update-Pat Frey

Pat gave the following updates:

  • Encampment outreach continues to make sure that those that are unsheltered continue to have access to hygiene products and information as it changes
  • Doing daily updates to all our partner agencies as new Centers of Disease Control and Department of Housing and Urban Development information is received
  • Calls and webinars are taking place on how agencies will be able to access funding for the crisis
  • Planning for recovery once the pandemic is over; expecting the numbers for those experiencing homelessness to go up
Crisis Fund Update-Betsy Covington

Betsy gave the following updates:

  • Money continues to come in; incredibly generous community
  • Reminder of Global Payment/ TSYS $100,000 matching gift to the fund; they will match individual gifts to the fund up to $2,000 for a total of $100,000; more information can be found at CFCV.com/coronavirus
  • Reminder to non-profits to go to the website to fill out the form sharing what is being seen and what is needed
  • Reminder that the fund is geared towards non-profit organizations that are helping the most vulnerable population
  • We are also hearing from other non-profits who are in need

Open Forum Updates

United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley Emerging Leaders United Update-Erica Walker

Erica gave the following update:

  • To increase awareness of the fund, Emerging Leaders United has launched a “Safe and Sane” challenge on Facebook and Instagram to encourage people to give at least $20.00 to the Crisis Fund. Each person is asked to challenge three people to share how they are staying “Safe and Sane” during this crisis. #SafeandSaneCV
Bradley Turner Foundation Update-Gilbert Miller

Gilbert gave the following update:

  • Reiterated the importance of the Census in times of crisis
  • Stimulus Funds from the Cares Act are influenced by the Census

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